New Year’s Eve 2017: How the world celebrates today

We take a look at the most popular traditions and celebrations that take place around the world.

On the night of December 31, festivities start in cities around the world to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Samoa, Tonga and Kiritimati will be the first places to receive 2018, while the US will be among the last.

The celebrations start on December 31, 2017 and will go on past midnight into January 1, 2018.

Below we take a look at the most popular traditions and celebrations that take place around the world.

Australia, India, Russia

  • Wellington, New Zealan, is the first major city to receive the New Year. Local councils usually organise parties and street carnivals and fireworks displays.

  • In Brisbane, Australia people gather at sites around the Brisbane River to watch the fireworks.

  • In India, Goa and Kerala are among the most visited destinations during New Year’s Eve.

  • At five minutes to midnight, the Russian president traditionally delivers a televised speech for the New Year.

  • There is also a tradition to listen to the Kremlin clock bell ringing 12 times on the radio or TV.

UAE, Lebanon, Spain 

  • In Dubai, New Year’s fireworks are set from Jumeirah beach and the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

  • This year the fireworks will be replaced with a laser show, according to UAE authorities citing safety concerns.

  • In Lebanon, celebrations begin with a dinner among family and friends, while the countdown to the next year is broadcast on TV.

  • In Madrid, The countdown is followed by the clock on top of the Casa de Correos building in Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid. It is traditional to eat 12 grapes before New Year.

Brazil, US, Venezuela 

  • In Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, people go to the city’s famous Copacabana beach to see the fireworks. The display is ranked online by travellers among the top 10 New Year fireworks display.

  • Ball drop. In the US, the most prominent celebration in the country is the “ball drop” held in New York City’s Times Square.

  • The Waterford crystal ball located on the roof of One Times Square is lowered down a pole that is 70ft high, reaching the roof of the building 60 seconds later to signal the start of the New Year.

  • Sunday’s may be the coldest New Year’s Eve in New York City since 1962.
  • Church bells. In Caracas, the bells of the Cathedral of Caracas ring 12 times. In radio, it is also a tradition to broadcast songs about the end of the year normally known as Gaitas.

Source: Al Jazeera